Sunday, 5 October 2014

SUNDAY READS: Dr Ivan Joseph - The Skill of Self Confidence




I really enjoy watching TED talks in my downtime and I'm always recommending this one by Dr Joseph on self confidence. What I love most about it is that he positions self confidence as a skill - a learned ability that anyone can develop through practice and positive self talk. He also explains how positive reinforcement can help develop the self confidence of those around us.

Here are some highlights from the video -

'We all have this negative self-talk that goes on in our head. Guess what? There's enough people that are telling us we can't do it. That we're not good enough. Why do we want to tell ourselves that? We know for a fact that thoughts influence actions'.

'We know that our thoughts influence actions, why do we want to say that negative self-talk to ourselves? We need to get our own self-affirmations. Muhammad Ali, what was his self-affirmation? "I am the greatest!". Who else is going to tell you that? There needs to be quiet moments in your bedroom, quiet moments when you're brushing your teeth that we need to reaffirm: "I am the captain of my ship and the master of my fate!". That is my affirmation'. 

'How do you build self confidence? Get away from the people who will tear you down. There's enough of that'.

'I wrote a letter to myself, it was my own brag sheet. My own letter about the things I was proud of. Because there are moments, and we'll all experience them in our career, in our lives, in our job hunting, in our relationships; when we are not feeling good about who, and what, and where we are. And I had to bring out that letter and read it time and time again, for a period of about two weeks, to weather me through that storm. It was important. Stop the self-talk, the negative self-talk'.


'It sounds simple but we forget about it. Or as educators, or as somebody on a team, if we manage to praise the positive behaviour that we wanted to reinforce. We forget it. It sounds so simple. Catch them when they're good. We forget it. It's simple'.

'If I could give you one thing to take from this, it is: no one will believe in you unless you do... Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. We're supposed to be different, folks. And when people look at us, believe in yourself'. 


I am not a confident person by nature and I am, in fact, full of doubt about most things. I am a highly careful and cautious person, and I was taught that confidence was interchangeable with cockiness. I think the last point is quite unfortunate because they are not synonyms.  

I came across this video during a time when I was very confused. There was a lot of noise going on around me - way too many competing opinions vying for attention and I found it hard to cut through all of that. It was even harder to trust and back myself up. This video really helped me to examine all that negative self talk that I'd been feeding myself. 

Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I always go back to this video and let it knock some sense into me.

I hope you enjoy this video as well.

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